Hollyoaks’ Abe encourages Cleo to lose weight in disturbing twist

The following article references coercive control, the loss of a child and bulimia.

Hollyoaks spoilers follow from Monday's episode on Channel 4 streaming, which doesn't air on E4 until Tuesday.

Hollyoaks has revisited Cleo McQueen's history with bulimia as her coercive control storyline continues with Abe Fielding.

Last week, Abe was upset over Cleo getting a promotion at work so he plied her with enough alcohol at a surprise party that she eventually threw up.

Abe got his cruel revenge on Cleo by photographing her being sick and then posting the pictures on his social media.

cleo in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

In Monday's (June 17) streaming episode on Channel 4's website, Abe lied to an understandably angry Cleo by insisting he must have snapped the photos and posted them by accident.

"I was trying to stop you from choking on your own sick," Abe declared.

Cleo was worried that some of her work colleagues had seen these photos, though her boyfriend played it all off as a simple error because he had his hands full with troubled younger brother Arlo.

Cleo soon got a text from Misbah asking her to come to the hospital, for what Cleo assumed would be a dressing down.

Cleo was immediately apologetic for the photos, but it turned out that Misbah hadn't even seen them. Instead, she'd called Cleo down to sign the contract for her promotion.

Misbah encouraged Cleo not to let things "fester" with Abe, admitting that's one of the things that led to her own marriage breakdown.

Later, Abe was upset to see Cleo joking with a man at The Dog, until his girlfriend revealed her new friend was a mortgage advisor looking into getting the couple their first home.

"My new job is going to have a much bigger salary, so the fact that you're self-employed is not going to stop us from getting a place together," Cleo insisted.

Abe embarrassed Cleo by questioning whether they were moving too quickly, insisting she'd been "battling [her] demons" recently.

"Last night, you made yourself sick deliberately," Abe claimed. "Maybe you're having a bulimia relapse."

joel and cleo in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

After this disastrous meeting with the mortgage adviser, Cleo railed against Abe for making such a hurtful accusation.

"You've been erratic. Getting wasted, purging again," Abe insisted. "Last time, I might have got it wrong but this time, this was different."

Abe weaponised his knowledge of Cleo's bulimia with a lie about how she'd worried about the calories of the booze from the night before and had made herself sick.

"I tried to stop you but you wouldn't listen to me," Abe told her.

He piled on the guilt by revealing he'd cancelled all his PT clients for the day so he could stay home and support her.

Cleo started to believe Abe's lies, even apologising to him. While she was out getting "a healthy lunch" for Abe, Cleo ran into a distraught Joel.

Joel broke down discussing the loss of his and Leela's baby, explaining that he couldn't stop crying "for a child [he] never met".

Cleo was supportive as always, assuring Joel that his feelings of loss were valid.

"You and Leela will be happy again," she promised. "It will take time but you'll get there."

The pair had no idea a jealous Abe was watching them. Once she got home, Abe pressured her to weigh herself and then insisted he was going to help her with a fitness transformation.

cleo and abe in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

"I've got the diet plan, robust new workouts and, I promise you Cleo, you won't be able to recognise yourself when I'm through with you in a couple of weeks," he vowed.

Will Cleo realise Abe's manipulations?

Hollyoaks streams first online via Channel 4 each weekday at 7.30pm. Episodes then air on E4 the following day, before getting their YouTube premiere a week after that.

Selected omnibus episodes are available via Prime Video.

Read more Hollyoaks spoilers on our dedicated homepage

Organisations including Women's Aid can provide further support and information on coercive control or coercive behaviour.

Organisations including Sands and Tommy's are able to offer help and support to anyone affected by baby loss.

Beat is a charity which raises awareness and understanding of eating disorders, and supports those affected by them. It has a one-to-one secure messaging service, and details of its phone helplines can be found here.

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